Parenting…a blessing in disguise…!!!
By definition, a parent is the caregiver of a child and parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Now that’s a mouthful but its significance cannot be understated. Just ask a person who was not lucky enough to be raised by his/her parents. As the saying goes:
“All the people in the world can be divided into 2 sections – those who were loved as children and those who were not.”
How a kid behaves is a clear statement on what kind of people his/her parents are. When a child misbehaves, we always hear parents complaining that they don’t understand where their kid picked up this habit. The kid’s friends are the usual suspects. But more often than not the real reasons are the parents themselves. Famous words declare, “Children see, Children do…!!!” This ad by Napcan in their campaign for a Child-Friendly Australia, pretty much sums it all up.
As we analyzed our own lives, we realized a few things. In my case, I was the younger of two boys, growing up with a father who was an Army officer and a housewife mother. We moved from one place to other every 2 years. This, of course, meant no stability, no long term friendships, studies was one my worst enemies and I grew up to be the kind of person who was never very attached to any one person for a long time, other than my parents. My father was a very strict man who didn’t shy away from disciplining us by means of physical beating. Also, we had standing instructions, that the kids should be asleep before he got back from work. This meant that I was very close to my mother and equally distant from my father. Don’t get me wrong, my father was not a bad parent, he provided us with everything that we ever needed. Only thing lacking was the actual expression of parental love. So, as a parent myself, it became very important for me to make sure my own child never felt the lack of fatherly love and affection. Not only was I determined to be able to provide for the child’s every need, but also be present in every aspect of their lives. Also, due to my father’s job we never lived close to our relatives, like grandparents, uncles, aunts & cousins and I always felt the lack of those people in my life. This is another thing I am very determined to make sure our child doesn’t suffer from.
In the case of Snehal (my wife), she grew up in a joint family including her father, mother, younger brother and grandparents. She was more close to her grandparents than her parents. She also spent most of her childhood in a hostel. So, even though her childhood was also very unstable, she did get to live very close to her grandparents and understands the importance of having them around while growing up. As a result, she also wants that our child gets to know her grandparents intimately.
So, one year into our marriage, when we started thinking about extending our family, it was a lot more than just having a baby. We became sensitive to a whole lot of things around us, like – our own childhood, our own parents, our surroundings, our relationships, how we were brought up, kind of people we had turned out to be and much more. The very thought of having another living, breathing human being in our lives was pretty overwhelming. Anyways we tried and succeeded in the month of January 2010. One of the toughest decisions came after that. We were living in Mumbai (India) at that time and it soon became very clear that it was impossible for me to take care of my wife as I was working all day. So, we requested her mother to come in for a few days. This came as such a relief for me as I could work without constantly worrying about her well-being that we decided that she would move to her parent’s place until the time the baby was delivered. Ultimately this turned out to be such a good decision as she got all the care that comes from living with one’s parents, along with the health benefits of living away from the hustle bustle of a major metropolitan city. I had peace of mind and would visit during the weekends.
Well, 9 months swept by and then it was time for the baby to arrive. Fortunately for us, we were blessed to have a Gynecologist who insisted on Natural Birth and warned us that he would resort to cesarean only if the baby’s life was at risk. October 31st, 2010 was a long day, at the end of which we were blessed with our baby girl who we lovingly call Aarohi.
Life as we knew it had changed forever.